Being an unpaid carer, trying to have a career can seem like an impossible feat. Caring can require a lot of energy, and working in a full-time or even part-time job can add to that pressure; finding a balance between working, caring and having down-time can be a delicate balancing act.

At Your Caring Way, we hear these valid concerns often. We are here to support carers who want to gain financial independence and pursue interests outside of their caring role. Below, we have collected a few strategies to help you balance your caring responsibilities with your career.

Ask for help

Many carers credit their support system with making the difference in trying to have a career. Some have a lot of family members or friends who are happy to help, and others find community in parent groups, church, or neighbourhood and hobby clubs.

It isn’t always easy to ask for help, and uncomfortable emotions can arise, but it can take a village, and more often than not, people are happy to lend an ear or some of their time to help out.

If you are comfortable discussing your personal life with your employer, they can work with you to support your employment and caring roles, and your workplace policies may have provisions for carers.

Here are organisations that can support you in advocating for yourself or your care recipient:

  • Carers Australia – A peak body representing unpaid carers, and a directory of support.
    M: 1800 422 747 | Website:
  • Carers + Employers – An organisation advocating for carers in the workplace. Offers resources for balancing employment and caring.
    M: (02) 9280 4744 | Website:

Stay organised

It can seem daunting to try to stay organised when juggling different roles, but it is an important skill to practice as disorganisation can negatively impact your mental health and lead to further overwhelm, anxiety and distress. A few quick tips include:

  • Write things down: Use a calendar or planner to keep track of appointments and to-do lists, to free up space in your head.
  • Declutter and designate: Try to reduce your possessions and give everything you own a home, so you know where it is. A cluttered home can lead to a cluttered mind.
  • Establish a routine: Creating morning and night-time routines, and routines for your care recipient, can help your day go smoothly and free up time for other things.

Keep work and home life separate

As much as you are able to, try to keep your work and home life separate. While you may need to take calls from your care recipient or your service providers while at work, try to designate a time throughout the day to follow up on these things – whether it is during your lunch break or a small break in the day. Likewise, try not to take work calls or check your emails during your off-hours.

As work from home roles are becoming more common, it can be especially difficult for carers to separate their work and home life. In addition to dedicating space in your home towards work and making sure to take your allocated breaks outside of this room, Forbes has published a list of ideas to help you in maintaining a separation.

Get in contact with us

We hope that these tips will help you in balancing your caring responsibilities with your role as an employee.

Your Caring Way is here to support you in your journey to employment, including your interview stage. If you’d like more support, contact us on 1300 585 636 or complete our online form.